Everyone knows the power of reading. The big question is how to encourage your child to read and love doing so! Tracey Clayton, mother of three, gives some suggestions on making reading fun for your kiddos! Enjoy!
Ways to Teach and Encourage Your Children to Read
Reading is an essential skill in this modern world and the better our kids are at reading, the greater their chances for success are. This goes for all kinds of reading, including reading for comprehension, pleasure, business, and so on. It is important that we as parents teach and encourage our kids to read from an early age and give them a good starting point for a lifetime of reading. Here are a few tips on how you can do just that, both with your toddler and your school-aged children.
1. Rhymes and songs
With all of my kids, I started with singing songs and reciting rhymes to them, the classic ones that have a lot of repetitive sounds and patterns that are easy to remember. It was easy for me to teach them a simple rhyme, then clap and praise them when they learn it by heart. These small steps turned into bigger ones as I started reading longer songs and poems to them as they grew older, especially since they already had the confidence about it and wanted to learn new ones.
2. Make use of toys and furniture
The first thing to teach your kids is, of course, the alphabet. You can use certain tricks to achieve this with little effort. It is important that kids have the letters in clear view all the time, if possible, so getting an alphabet carpet for your kids’ room is a great idea. You can also get alphabet fridge magnets, cubes, wall stickers, and even prepare alphabet soup for them.
3. Read to your kids
All kids love bedtime stories, and you should do it every night if you can. Read to them slowly and show them pictures and illustrations as you do, it is best if you can look at the book together. You can run your index finger under the print as you read, so your child will make the connection between the printed words and the story. You can ask them to gradually identify characters, their names in the book, letters,
4. Make it fun
You should still continue reading to your children, but you can now arrange for some fun variations. For example, this dad of three kids didn’t have a lap big enough for all three of them, so he built a triple rocking chair. The very act of sitting on these makes the whole thing magic. I am planning to have something similar made for my kids. You can take your kids to the local library for story reading sessions and make sleepover parties with their friends where you could create an atmosphere to match the story, like a theme party. One example could be getting them pirate costumes and masks, and reading a pirate story. Next time, you let them read by themselves.
5. Give them discrete reading tasks
As soon as your kid can read, you can start leaving them written notes and messages, and create a habit of communicating with each other in this way too. You can ask them to help you with something they will like doing, for example, to help you make cookies by reading the recipe out loud for you, to assemble their new kite or a dinosaur model by reading the instructions out loud, and so on.
6. Create a reading corner
For good reading habits, kids need to have space and materials. You can get them their own bookshelf, a kid-size reading armchair (or a comfortable chair), and a good reading lamp. Dedicate one corner of their room to their reading space and talk about how it is important to keep things neat in order for this space to remain magical.
7. Let them use technology
Let your kids use tablets, computers, and other technology gadgets for reading. There are many applications and resources online nowadays that will help your kids improve their skills. For example, learning tools like engaging funbrain games enable kids to practice reading comprehension while playing games online. However, make sure you monitor their online activities and restrict excessive use of. In my experience, teaching my first child how to read required the most effort. But, with the next two, I honestly didn’t even have to try since they played school a lot and learned from the oldest one. All you need to do is get the ball rolling.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.
That’s all for now!
Thanks for reading 🙂